"Johnson's Journey" Historical Exhibit at Hands On! Museum
Note- This Exhibit ran from March through September 2007

On March 2, 2007, an exhibit commemorating the history of Johnson City was dedicated at the Hands On! Museum at 315 East Main Street in Johnson City, Tennessee titled "Johnson's Journey." Step back in time and experience life in a different era in The Beehive, an old-time department store, the Blue Plum Post Office, and the famous 100-year old Lady of the Fountain statue. Explore the sights and sounds of the railroad aboard our caboose and see a model of the famous ET&WNC (Tweetsie) Railroad. The exhibit opened on March 3 and closed on September 16, 2007. Johnson's Depot Mayor Henry Johnson issued this proclamation in recognition of the fabulous exhibit. View the video from the WJHL news feature "Cable Country."

Below are photos of the collection and the grand opening events. Your "hosts" for this tour are Mayor Henry Johnson and the Lady of the Fountain.

Image by
  "Johnson's Journey"

Final Preparations
Artist Betty Dyer

Hands On! Exhibit Team
"Racing the clock, the crew puts the final touches on the Blue Plum Village." "Betty Dyer, daughter of famous cartoonist, Bill Dyer, created life-size figurines for the Exhibit." "Amanda and Kristine assist Franci with mounting the numerous photos used in the exhibit."

Visitors are charmed by a famous statue.

Side view of the statue.
Front view of the Lady of the Fountain. Larger View
"Brenda Whitson and Becky Hilbert tour the Exhibit." "The Lady of the Fountain has returned to Main Street Johnson City for the first time in 70 years." "The Exhibit's centerpiece is the Lady of the Fountain surrounded by flowers."

Inside the" Bee Hive"

Striking the Pose

The" Bee Hive" Market
"Peggy Borden checks out the interior of the Bee Hive Department Store ." "Brenda and Becky pose at Fountain Square with Johnson City's famous 100-year old Lady." "The Bee Hive was operated for many years in downtown Johnson City by merchants Ward and Friberg."
Mountainside Views  

Vintage Water Tank

Tweetsie Arrives
"The button on the left in the photo above activates the train."
"The model railroad volunteers created a detailed town layout ."
"Conductor Cy Crumley of Johnson City was one of the great storytellers about the ET&WNC (Tweetsie) Railroad."

The Cast

Storytelling Desk

"Dress for Success"
"Dr. Hankal, the Bowman Sisters, Henry Johnson and the Lady of the Fountain all await final placement by the Hands On! staff." "A Storytelling Desk is provided where anyone with Johnson City stories and memories may share their experiences."
"In this area kids can choose a future job and dress up in uniforms as part of their fun adventure along Johnson's Journey."
Dr. Hezekiah Hankal

The Bowman Sisters:
Jennie and Pauline
Columbia Recording Artists
in the 1928 Johnson City Sessions

Henry Johnson
"Noted black physician Dr. Hankal was a leading educator in addition to being a Johnson City Alderman with a thriving medical practice." "The Bowman Sisters were daughters of famous old-time fiddler, Fiddlin' Charlie Bowman and are noted as the first sister recording duo in country music." "Town Founder Henry Johnson is commemorated in this life-size figure created by Betty Dyer."

Take a ride around Blue Plum Village.
"Blue Plum Village" the Future Theme for Johnson City .

Building blocks to design a future city.
"The final part of the exhibit includes building blocks and props to design a future city as well as an area for riding with the skyline in the background." "Blue Plum Village is a concept to market and redevelop the historic district of downtown Johnson City." "I hope you enjoyed the tour and will visit Johnson's Journey at the Hands On! Museum. As you can see this is something the whole family will not want to miss!"


A look around Hands On!...
Johnson City Press News Article
"Hands On Museum Day was proclaimed by Mayor Henry Johnson of Johnson's Depot, TN for March 3, 2007."
"Railroad themes are a key element of Johnson's Journey celebrating Johnson City's history as an Appalachian crossroads point serving as the junction of three railroads."
"This giant postmark is found on the wall of the Blue Plum Post Office."
"Betty Dyer examines family memorabilia on loan for Johnson's Journey shown in the Blue Plum Post Office." Betty's family scrapbook will be an upcoming feature on the Johnson's Depot website - stay tuned!!
"The Mountain Empire Modular Railroaders created a model of the great ET&WNC (Tweetsie) Railroad."

"Hands On! Exhibit Coordinator Franci Sloan joins Director Trish Patterson, Alan Bridwell, Johnson City Mayor Steve Darden and Bridgett Massengill at the dedication."
"Opening day visitors to this Exhibit far exceeded expectations!"
Recording by the
Bowman Sisters

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